"The GPIF in October slashed its targeted holdings of low-yielding government bonds and doubled its target for stocks, as part of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's plan to boost the economy and promote risk-taking," Bloomberg notes, marking a shift into risk assets by the country's pension funds.
The people of Venezuela can rejoice... not so fast. Amid paranoid-sounding (though not unlikely) rantings about US-created coups (and blaming 'economic' war for his nation's Socialist utopia hyperinflation), it appears President Maduro just got another life-line (or more rope to hang himself). After begging China's leader Xi early in January for moar money (and getting it), China - which is already Venezuela's biggest creditor with over $50 billion loaned since 2007 - as Reuters reports, is said to plan on signing another $5bn loan to Venezuela for "wide-ranging" projects like "mature oil fields." So, it appears China is enabling Maduro to hollow out his economy even more.
After Pillaging Pensions, Greece Raids Utilities To Repay Troika; Bonds Plunge As Bank Run AcceleratesSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 03/19/2015 11:40 -0400
The new Greek government, instead of seriously contemplating a Plan B outside of the Eurozone, was busy thinking of new ways to raid its own population just to repay the "loathed" Troika. In the latest sad indication of just how truly insolvent Greece is, Reuters also reported that days after raiding its own Pension funds to repay the IMF (which in turn lent the cash to Ukraine so it could repay Ukraine's obligations to Gazprom and thus Putin), the Syriza government is now raiding the major state utility firms to lend the government cash through short-term repo transactions as it scrambles to avoid running out of cash.
Reversing all of yesterday's FOMC-inspired idiocy, WTI has plunged back to reality this morning. Following comments by Kuwait's comments that OPEC had no choice but to keep production steady, refocusing the market on global oversupply, April WTI is back down to a $42 handle.
- Fed May Not Hit Neutral Until 10th Anniversary of Lehman Collapse (BBG)... make that never
- Global stocks and bonds roar Fed approval, dollar fights back (Reuters)
- EU to tell Greece time, patience running out (Reuters)
- U.S. likely to delay planned closure of two Afghanistan bases (Reuters)
- Norway Signals Reduction After Unexpectedly Holding Rate (BBG)
- Oil Falls to $55 as Kuwait Comments Refocus on Oversupply (Reuters)
- Tsipras Heads to Summit as Merkel Tries to Defuse Greek Crisis (BBG)
- Yahoo Pulls the Plug on China Operations (WSJ)
"At least one guest left a New York restaurant with the impression Bernanke, 60, does not expect the federal funds rate, the Fed's main benchmark interest rate, to rise back to its long-term average of around 4 percent in Bernanke's lifetime. "Shocking when he said this," the guest scribbled in his notes. "Is that really true?" he scribbled at another point, according to the notes reviewed by Reuters."
Less than three weeks ago, when the PBOC proceeded with its latest "surprise" rate cut, we showed a chart that should scare everyone who is hoping that China will avoid a hard-landing would prefer would never have been revealed: the annual collapse in Chinese home prices is now so sharp and so widespread, that it has surpassed the housing collapse in the aftermath of the Lehman collapse." Overnight things went from bad to worse, when China's National Bureau of Statistics reported that contrary to hopes for a modest rebound, China's average new home prices fell at the fastest pace on record in February from a year earlier.
Ahead of The Fed's 'impatience' today, and amid a tumbling EUR, the oldest central bank in the world has decided it is time to go further into the illustrious ranks of NIRP/QE'ers:
*RIKSBANK CUTS KEY RATE TO -0.25%, TO BUY GOVT BONDS FOR SK30 BLN
So as opposed to Denamrk's roundabout QE, Sweden just jumps in and monetizes that debt direct by expanding their QE program and shifts from small NIRP to bigger NIRP. All this while suggesting the labor market is strengthening and inflation has bottomed out. The reaction - SEK is plunging and OMX surges.
- Hilsenrath: Fed to Markets: No More Promises (WSJ)
- Fed set to ditch 'patient' rate vow as it eyes U.S., world growth (Reuters)
- Fannie, Freddie could need another bailout (Reuters)
- Alibaba Stock-Sale Lockup Is Ending (WSJ)
- Netanyahu Sweeps Aside Herzog’s Challenge to Win Israel Vote (BBG)
- Oil Bonds Lose Investors $7 Billion in 10 Days (BBG)
- There’s a mysterious $1.1 trillion in spending cuts in the House GOP’s budget (WaPo)
- ECB's Celebration of Its New $1.4 Billion Tower Is Spoiled by Protesters (BBG)
The only news that matters to algos today is whether Janet Yellen will include the word "patient" in the FOMC statement as a hint of a June rate hike, even though the phrase "international developments" is far more important in a world in which everyone (such as the 25 or so central banks who have cut rates in the past 80 days) is now scrambling to export deflation to everyone else. And with carbon-based traders recuperating from St. Patrick's day, few will notice that the oil tumble continues as WTI touches new 6 year highs after yesterday's shocking 10MM+ API build, and is now openly eyeing a collapse into the $30s. Just as nobody will notice that even as futures in the US and European stocks are looking a little hungover ahead of the Fed and perhaps on the latest bout of anti-austerity out of Europe, the China levitation has gone full retard, with the SHCOMP up another 2.1% yesterday and now in full-blown parabolic mode as housing data confirms the Chinese housing bubble has truly burst, and as shadow bankers dump all their funds into stocks in hopes of making up for losses due to regulatory intervention.
All Good Things Must End... this may not be the end of the world exactly. But the end of the fiat money system President Nixon gave birth to in 1971... when he cut the dollar loose from gold. And it may feel like the end of the world, because of the social chaos it will provoke.
News of an upcoming meeting between Tsipras and Putin comes just days ahead of EU Summit and a €2 billion debt repayment, suggesting Athens may be playing one of its few remaining cards.
Perhaps it is purely a coincidence that on the day in which the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (which as profiled earlier is anything but) released several new YouTube clips "confirming" a poison gas chemcial attack by the Assad army had killed 6 people in the country, that several hours later a US drone was shot down by the Syrian military according to CNN, which cites Syria's state-run news agency reported Tuesday. Then again, perhaps not.
Here We Go Again: YouTube Clips Of Syrian "Chemical Attacks" Are Back - Meet The Man Behind The PropagandaSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 03/17/2015 09:19 -0400
US foreign policy is becoming so easy and predictable, even Derek Zoolander can do it.
Two weeks ago, when discussing the relentless attempts to provoke, or at least greenlight another quasi war with Syria's president Assad, we wrote "one can be confident that the ISIS "campaign" will continue and get ever closer to Damascus until yet another appropriately-framed YouTube clip appears and leads to another war with Assad." Moments ago Reuters reported that "a group monitoring the Syrian civil war said on Tuesday government forces carried out a poison gas attack that killed six people in the northwest, and medics posted videos of children suffering what they said was suffocation."